What Surface Condition Specifications Should Cover

Specifications should also say how uniform, clean, rough, and what strength the concrete substrate should be prior to a coating or overlay installation. See Standards You Should Know About.

Other specifications may include time schedules and acceptable levels of noise and dust. Also, is there time in the schedule for concrete to dry to the required moisture level if water is being used in the cleaning process? If the specifications dont cover these issues- make sure they get covered.

If testing is required, the types of tests should be incorporated into the specifications.

Proposals for surface preparation specifications should clearly spell out cleaning methods, profiling method, and surface defect repair procedures.

Most job specifications for surface preparation state the surface should be "sound, free from surface defects dry, and clean." Each of these terms is subjective, so it is important that the job specifications, the coatings or overlay specifications, and the expectations of the architect and/ or project engineer are in alignment.

Standards You Should Know About (ACI 503R, ASTM 4263, ASTM 4260)

ACI 503R Use of Epoxy Compounds with Concrete

ASTM D 4260-88- Standard Practice for Acid Etching

ASTM D 4262-83- Test Method for pH for chemically cleaned or etched Concrete Surfaces

ASTM D 4263-83- Test Method for Indicating Moisture in Concrete by the Plastic Sheet Method.

When Job Specifications and Manufacturers Specifications Differ

All of us in construction are familiar with the "I did it per the specs" excuse. It is when the job has went south and a reason must be found as to why- so finger pointing begins. The problem is often the job specifications and the product specifications do not coincide.

Architects specifications are often boilerplate and transfer from one job to another- even when job conditions are different.

Contractors are busy and bid many jobs- often with no time, or due to distance they are unable to examine the project specs versus the product specs and job conditions.

Owners often just dont think it can be that complicated.

Smart owners, property managers, and designers will start at the end, considering the desired result and ask", what is the end result of the new floor we are looking for"? Review reputable products that will produce that result.

Then write the specifications following the product manufacturers instructions for installation and considering the job conditions.

The above is not an easy task- but it beats the blame game that occurs when it is not done.

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